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Story Starters: Holiday Happenings In Philadelphia
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Nation’s First Thanksgiving Parade Gears Up For Its 94th Annual Run In Philadelphia
There’s no place like home for the holidays, and Philadelphia is home to one of the nation’s favorite holiday traditions: the Thanksgiving Day Parade, taking place this year on November 28 beginning at 8:15 a.m. Almost a century after Philadelphian Ellis Gimbel created the Thanksgiving Day parade as a marketing tool to kick off the Christmas shopping season, the city that first introduced the turkey-day festivities will again celebrate the start of the season in grand style with the 94th annual 6abc Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade takes 19 marching bands, dozens of celebrities and floats and thousands of performers up the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for a grand finale in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Bright Lights, Big City
Dark winter nights turn glittery and bright with holiday lights that shimmer and shine all across the Philadelphia region. Two new city displays that debut in November are getting lots of buzz. There’s Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle: A Holiday Light Show, featuring a 10-foot-tall kite made of lights that sparkle and spread the glow to lights throughout the square. The show runs every 30 minutes between 4:30 and 8:00 p.m. from November 14-December 31. Also making its debut this year: Bright Lights, Big Santa at the Blue Cross RiverRink. The festive mash-up of color, lights, hip-hop beats and dancing elves all come together in 3-D light show that’s accompanied by holiday music. Part of the Waterfront Winterfest—complete with fire pits, a heated pop-up restaurant, craft market and other activities—the light show runs every hour between 5:00-11:00 p.m., November 29-January 5.
Pop-up Shops Pop Up All Over Philly Just In Time For Holiday Season
Shoppers eager to purchase fun, unusual, creative or sure-to-be-coveted gifts this holiday season have plenty of pop-up shops to choose from in Philadelphia. From Black Friday through the new year, pop-up shops are popping up all over town for the weekend, for several weekends or even for the entire month. Gift givers can choose from garden-focused delights at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Pop-Up Shop at Chestnut Hill (November 8-January 5), vintage and antique wares at Franklin Flea in the former Strawbridge’s department store space (Saturdays, November 16-December 21 and Friday, December 20), crafty goods at the Blue Cross RiverRink’s Art Star Holiday Market Village (select days November 29-December 31) or handmade gifts created by 50 artisans at the Pennsylvania Ballet’s first-ever Nutcracker Market (December 7-8).
Holiday Shopping Made Easy At Philadelphia’s Museum Shops
When the winter holidays approach, Philadelphia’s art- and treasure-filled stores answer the calls of shoppers in search of the perfect gifts. Gift seekers can hit up the Barnes Foundation for made-in-Pennsylvania jewelry or Vermont-forged ironwork. At Longwood Gardens, visitors can pick up Artifaqt’s new Treeware Collection, serverware made from the reclaimed wood of Longwood’s fallen trees. And at the Penn Museum, shoppers can have some fun purchasing great new T-shirts that show some love to all-things archaeological: “Archaeology: Can You Dig It” tees and a “Princess of Ur” tee with a 1920s artist’s rendition of Queen Puabi.
Get Festive In Philly On New Year’s Eve
A festive night like New Year’s Eve calls for a festive celebration, and Philadelphia will host many of them to welcome 2014. Two displays of SugarHouse Casino’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront, running at 6:00 p.m. and again at midnight let revelers celebrate at their convenience. Folks looking for a family-friendly celebration can lace up their ice skates for the Holiday Party on Ice at the Blue Cross RiverRink, featuring entertainment, party favors and great views of the fireworks shows. Or, they can join in the family-friendly viewing parties at the Independence Seaport Museum or Battleship New Jersey. For the little ones, the Please Touch Museum® and Franklin Square both host daytime countdowns.
A New Year’s Day To Remember
New Year’s Day is about celebrating, and there’s no better place to fete than at Philadelphia’s Mummers Parade, a 114-year-old tradition in which 10,000 men and women dressed in colorfully lavish costumes twirl, sashay, pirouette and strut up one of the city’s main streets. An unforgettably wild ritual, the parade and subsequent performances are all family friendly, yet exciting enough to entertain everybody. While a carnival-like atmosphere welcomes anyone who decides to stop by at the last minute, a little advance preparation guarantees a clear view.
Tickets for parade bleacher seating at City Hall (15th & Market Streets) are available at the Independence Visitor Center (6th & Market Streets, (215) 965-7676) for $20. Tickets to the indoor Fancy Brigade Finales can be purchased online for $20-$25 at comcasttix.com or in at the Independence Visitor Center.
Visit Philadelphia, formerly known as Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in the five-county area.
Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com make up the most-visited website network out of the 10 biggest U.S. cities. Visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.
- Jenea Robinson, (215) 599-2291
Holidays In Philadelphia Mean New Celebrations & Can't-Miss Classics
The holidays are all about tradition, especially in Philadelphia where each year generations of visitors gather at Macy’s for the Christmas Light Show, snap memory-making photos of Longwood Gardens’ elaborate displays and oooh-and-aaaah at the SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront, which will be displayed on screens around town at midnight. This year, the Mummers Parade, Philadelphia’s oldest and proudly quirkiest New Year’s Day tradition, gets a new look with the addition of a new division—the first since 2008. Joining the Comic, Fancy, Wench, String Band and Fancy Brigades on the march along Broad Street will...
Philly Region Festivals Celebrate Art, Music, Mushrooms & More
With just the turn of the ignition key and within less than an hour, visitors to Philadelphia can explore the region’s quaint towns and charming settings. And what better way to discover them than with the homegrown festivals and events that celebrate their distinct personalities. Some festivities are quirky—think tens of thousands of folks coming together to pay tribute to the mushroom. Others honor the culinary talents of their hometown chefs or the creative handiwork of local artisans. While still others harken back to the town’s proud role in American history. Whatever the topic or the time of year, local...
Festivals Keep Philly Neighborhoods Hopping All Year Long
Philadelphians can always find a reason to get festive. It could be a gathering of artists and artisans in Manayunk, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair or zombies taking over South Street, a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue or a weekend celebrating all things Harry Potter in Chestnut Hill. Throughout the year, Philly’s neighborhoods make merry with special events and activities that reflect their distinctive personalities. Here’s a look at some of the mark-the-calendar happenings for 2014:
Benjamin Franklin Parkway:
- For the fourth year running, the Philadelphia Science Festival unleashes nine days of exploratory exhibitions, lectures,
Quirky Events In Philadelphia
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Philadelphia gained an international reputation for being a pretty quirky place, thanks to an underdog championship boxer movie character, dueling cheesesteak purveyors, the Mummers and, well, a cracked Bell. It seems the 21st century will continue to propagate that fun-loving mystique with strange and wonderful annual events held every month of the year. Here’s a look at the city’s quirky side:
- The perpetually sold-out SportsRadio 94 WIP’s Wing Bowl 21 pits amateur speed eaters against one another in a race to see who can gobble the most chicken wings
32 Ways To Celebrate The Holidays In Philadelphia
Philadelphia boasts many holiday traditions that locals and visitors delight in year after year (Macy’s Christmas Light Show, Pennsylvania Ballet’s The Nutcracker and the New Year’s Day Mummers Parade), but this year revelers can partake in new activities that are sure to become beloved traditions. There’s the all-new Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle: A Holiday Light Show, a sparkling holiday tribute to Ben Franklin; the addition of a pop-up restaurant and shop at the Blue Cross River Rink; and the Nutcracker Market, featuring hand-made arts and crafts from American artisans.
Here are 32 ways to celebrate the holidays in Philadelphia:...
18 Reasons To Book A Trip To Philadelphia This Year
Recently named the first and only World Heritage City in the United States and Lonely Planet’s “Best in the U.S.” destination for 2016, Philadelphia is enjoying an action-packed year filled with attraction openings and expansions, only-in-Philly events and don’t-miss exhibitions—all happenings that will complement the immensely walkable city’s buzzed-about dining scene, vibrant art offerings, plentiful parks and public spaces and history galore.
Roaring animatronic dinosaurs will lumber into The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University for Dinosaurs Unearthed. Historic Philadelphia, Inc. added a new women-focused exhibit to the Betsy Ross House, and America’s most historic square mile welcomes Colonial...
The Towns Of The Philadelphia Countryside Celebrate The Holiday Season In Style
The Towns of the Philadelphia Countryside sparkle with seasonal events and activities—from the glittering lights at Longwood Gardens to North Pole-themed rides on the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad. Add in elegantly decorated historic houses, winter festivals and seasonal performances for a memory-filled holiday season.
Find top holiday events, a holiday lights roundup, New Year’s Eve and Day guides and more at visitphilly.com/holidays.
Lovely Lights & Dazzling Displays:
- While holiday shopping at Peddler’s Village, visitors can check out the Annual Gingerbread House Competition and Display. Participants compete in a variety of categories, including traditional and authentic reproduction of
Holidays In Philadelphia: New Celebrations & Can't-Miss Classics
It’s the most wonderful time of the year—especially in Philly, where iconic traditions and new festivities add sparkle to the season. Highlights: Last year’s blockbuster attraction, Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, returns to Penn’s Landing for an extended run; a new alfresco ice skating rink enters the scene at Dilworth Park; and the famous Mummers Parade tries out a new, spectator-friendly route. Of course, the calendar is packed with favorites such as Macy’s Christmas Light Show and New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront.
Find top holiday events, a holiday lights roundup, New Year’s Eve and Day guides and more at...
Pop-Up Shops Make The Perfect Spots For Holiday Gifts In Philadelphia
Shoppers eager to purchase fun, unusual, creative or sure-to-be-coveted gifts this holiday season have plenty of pop-up shops to choose from in Philadelphia. From Black Friday through the new year, pop-up shops are popping up all over town for the weekend, for several weekends or even for the entire month. Gift givers can choose from garden-focused delights at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Pop-Up Shop at Chestnut Hill, crafty goods at the Blue Cross RiverRink’s Art Star Holiday Market Village or handmade gifts created by 50 artisans at the Pennsylvania Ballet’s first-ever Nutcracker Market at the Kimmel Center for the Performing...